Experts say buying used appliances could be better for environment and wallets
TORONTO -- Due to COVID-19, some appliance stores say they have been unable to keep up with demand as the disease caused some factories to close or reduce their production and more people are doing home renovations.
However, if you don't need a fridge or a stove that is brand new or if you're trying to save money, it might make more sense to buy used appliances.
No one wants to end up with someone else’s problems, so researchers at Consumer Reports warn people to be cautious when buying used appliances through Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook.
They suggest that people instead go to stores that specialize in used appliances and have their own technicians, offer warrantees and savings of 50 per cent or more.
“Maybe you're on a tight budget or you're just trying to prevent yet another hunk of metal from entering the landfill,” Perry Santanachote with Consumer Reports said.
“You could also be getting a high-end appliance with features you wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.”
Barcelona Home Appliances in North York has been in business for 12 years and has three stores in the Greater Toronto Area.
Yury Riguero, the president of the used appliance store, said many landlords buy appliances for rental units, but he said that since the pandemic began, consumers have also shown an interest in buying used.
“People are looking for used appliances, because they cannot get appliances anywhere else," Riguero said.
Riguero said that appliances sold through his store may be refurbished, come with a one year warranty and can sell for about half the cost of what a new one would be.
“Our customers don't want to spend too much money and with us they can save a lot of money," Riguero said.
Consumer Reports said that when buying second hand, skip yard sales and classified websites as the sellers usually can't offer a warranty on the appliance.
Instead, try a reputable repair shop or used appliance store and your best bet for buying used is to buy washers, dryers, ranges and refrigerators.
The brand you buy makes a difference too as data shows some brands are more reliable than others.
“Consumer Reports reliability surveys of thousands of members found that LG, GE and Kenmore all earned a good or higher reliability rating for their fridges, ranges, washers and dryers,” Santanachote said.
If you find an appliance you like, do a close inspection and check for any damage or rust. See if it comes with the original owner's manual and don't be afraid to negotiate to see if you could save even more.
Also, search the model number to see how old the appliance is and if it has been involved in any safety recalls.
If you have an appliance break down, be careful so you don't pay too much to fix it.
Consumer Reports says if the cost of a repair is more than half the price of buying a new one, you may want replace the item, instead of repairing it.